[...] Tomorrow (this is quite between ourselves) the Ruskin people are coming down to my place, to spy out matters and I want you to look in casually at about 1.30. They come at 2, and you might stay a while until they go. It will be fun and involve no consequences, but you must just stand by 'the show' a bit.
The Genl. Lee business is I fancy in capital trim, for I had the letter read and posted by Judah P. Benjamen, who is you know the distinguished Q. C. and who was the Secretary of State in the Southern Confederacy. [...]
1. [15 November 1878]
Dated from reference to Ruskin and the date of his counsel's inspection of JW's works (see note below).
Published in Maggs & Co., sale catalogue, no. 608 (1935), item 517.
4. Ruskin people
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. This refers to preparations for JW's forthcoming libel case against Ruskin in which he hoped Boehm would appear as a witness on his behalf (see JW to J. E. Boehm, #00322). Ruskin's counsel requested a viewing of JW's works before the trial. It took place at his studio on 16 November 1878.
5. the show
This is a reference to JW's public career as an artist rather than to a particular exhibition.
6. Genl. Lee
General Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), Superintendant of USMA, West Point, and later Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate States of America [more]. This probably relates to a proposal mentioned by Boehm (see J. E. Boehm to JW, #00320) to cast an equestrian statue of General Lee. Boehm asked JW for his assistance to obtain the commission.